This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Manu Samoa expects Pumas physicality

22 September 2023: Manu Samoa No 10 Christian Lealiifano is expecting a physical confrontation with the Pumas as Head coach Vaovasamanaia Seilala Mapusua names Paul-Alo Emile in the front row, Paul Ala’nu’uese at locks and Ben Lam on the wing in tomorrow’s big Rugby World Cup battle.

Lealiifano who knows the Pumas coach Michael Cheika as a Wallaby in 2019 when Cheika was coach, told Radio Samoa that he anticipates a physical confrontation but is quietly confident in the Manu Samoa players named to do battle.

Samoa needs to win the clash to give them an advantage over the Pumas, who lost their first game to England a fortnight ago.

England has two wins and leads on the points table and Samoa are second but need the win to give them a better chance of qualifying for the quarterfinals.

Vaovasamanaia said they are focused on stopping the South Americans, but they will need to execute correctly.

Ben Lam
Ben Lam

Ben Lam is expected to bring a lot to the wider channels using his pure power and the way he plays the game.

“We are going to have to stop Argentina from doing what they do by doing what we do and committing to how we want to play,” he told the media at the team naming in Saint-Étienne on Wednesday evening (French time).

“We are under no illusion to the threat Argentina pose and we believe that if we stick to how we want to play and play the Samoa way, I am confident we will be able to stop Argentina.”

He said the three players who have been given starting roles are being brought in against the Pumas because of their strengths.

“Brian (Alainu’u’ese, second row) has been training really well and this was a game we thought his strengths would be utilised, especially around the set-piece,” he said.

“Ben Lam has just become available after sustaining an injury a few weeks ago. He is now fit and ready to go.

“We were worried when he sustained his injury. He’s a lot on the edge for us, he’s a very big man who can move quickly…he brings a lot to the wider channels, his pure power and the way he plays the game. We are looking forward to finally getting him on the field this weekend.”

Chris Vui will captain the team for the 12th time in his career, and third time at the Rugby World Cup after their pool victory against Russia in 2019 and last week against Chile.

Fullback Duncan Paia’aua is the only player to have played every minute for Samoa this year across all five tests. He is currently on a three-game try-scoring run, after crossing just once across his first four tests for Samoa, while flanker Theo McFarland did not miss a tackle against Chile, completing all 14 attempts and chosen the man of the match.

1. James Lay
2. Seilala Lam
3. Paul Alo-Emile
4. Brian Alainu’u’ese
5. Chris Vui (c)
6. Theo McFarland
7. Fritz Lee
8. Steven Luatua
9. Jonathan Taumateine
10. Christian Leali’ifano
11. Ben Lam
12. Tumua Manu
13. Ulupano Junior Seuteni
14. Nigel Ah-Wong
15. Duncan Paia’aua

16. Sama Malolo
17. Charlie Faumuina
18. Michael Alaalatoa
19. Taleni Junior Agaese Seu
20. Sa Jordan Taufua
21. Melani Matavao
22. Alai D’Angelo Leuila
23. Danny Toala